Daniel Hodge, who headed Bradley’s electrical and computer engineering (ECE) department at Virginia Tech from 1981 to 1989, died July 20 in Blacksburg at the age of 83.
During the eight years that Hodge led the department, “many milestones in its history have occurred, including the completion of the top three floors of Whittemore Hall, the establishment of the Virginia Power Electronics Center (now CPES), and the Fiber and Electro-Optics Research Center as statewide technology development centers, and the establishment of the Bradley Endowment in 1987,” said Luke Lester, the current department head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Bradley’s Computer Science.” Together with the Chief of Civil Engineering, Dan has played a major role in managing this meaningful gift to our department and its sister contribution, the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering .
“Equally importantly, Dan laid the groundwork for the use of the endowment, which has enabled the support of hundreds of undergraduate Bradley Scholars and graduate Bradley Scholars over the past 35 years, who are now spread across in our country,” Lester said. . “Following this tradition of giving, Dan and his wife, Lorraine, have also contributed generously to the department by establishing the Department Head Hodge’s Discretionary Fund, which annually supports ECE students participating in regional and national team competitions.”
Hodge was born and raised in North Manchester, Indiana, and discovered the world of shortwave radio in college. This eventually led to his career in electrical engineering. He earned amateur and commercial radio operator licenses in high school. His first “real” job was as an announcer and broadcast engineer at WIBC in Danville, Illinois. He also worked part-time at radio and television stations WFBM, WIBC, and WBAA during his undergraduate years at Purdue University. While in graduate school, he worked at Collins Radio and MIT Lincoln Lab during the summers. He also met and married Lorraine while in college.
Upon completion of his PhD, he and Lorraine spent a year in Oslo, Norway, where he was a Royal Norwegian Postdoctoral Fellow at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. Subsequently, he served on the electrical engineering faculty at Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech. Some of his research activities focused on the effect of precipitation on the propagation of radio waves. As a result, he was also a visiting professor of meteorology at McGill University. He served as department head in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and department chair in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Ohio State University, where he retired.
Hodge missed retirement twice, working 15 more years. He and Lorraine moved to McLean, Va., where he served as Program Officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Associate Executive Director for Accreditation at the Accreditation Council for Engineering and Science. technology. He was a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) and a member of the Accreditation Council for Engineering and Technology. He received the IEEE Meritorious Achievement Award in Accreditation Activities, the IEEE Meritorious Service Citation and the NSF Director’s Award for Management Excellence.
Hodge has consulted for over 25 companies and government agencies. He was also a forensic engineering consultant. Additionally, he was president of the National Electrical Engineering Department Heads Association and a member of the IEEE Educational Activities Board.
In 2011 Hodge finally retired and he and Lorraine moved to Woods Edge, Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg. Here he served on the board of the Woods Edge Condominium Association.
As a boy, Hodge enjoyed Boy Scout activities. He won the Explorer Scout Silver Award in high school. Later, he and Lorraine served as volunteer leaders for Indian Guides, Cub Scouts and Scouts. He was an inveterate collector ranging from hats to antique tools. He took piano lessons as a child and studied piano at the Jordan Conservatory in Indianapolis. He was happy when he entered retirement and found that he could recover many of his piano skills after many years of little practice. He also enjoyed building models, especially model trains and ships. Finally, he valued his friends and family and, most importantly, helped them when he could.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lorraine Ann Sandbakken Hodge; son Mark (Washington, DC); son Tim (Blacksburg, Virginia); Tim’s wife, Julie Dryden Hodge; and two grandchildren, Laura and Robert.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Hodge Department Head Discretionary Fund of the Virginia Tech Foundation by calling (800) 533-1144, or to the Warm Hearth Foundation.